• Renown Health Foundation

Wilbur May Foundation Donates Five Million Dollars to New Renown Children's Hospital Endowment Fund

April 25, 2022

Group of people outside at Renown Foundation event

Endowment funds generate annual income, ensuring support for years to come. Pictured above: Dr. Max Coppes, Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children’s Hospital and Nell J Redfield Chair of Pediatrics, UNR Med; Dr. Kristina Deeter, MBA, FAAP, Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children's Hospital; Becky Haase, RN, Director of Children’s Services at Renown Health; Emmalee Sutton, Renown Health's Children's Miracle Network Child Champion; Renown Health Foundation’s Chief Development Officer, Greg Walaitis; Dixie May, Vice President at the Wilbur May Foundation; Dr. Thomas Graf, CEO of Renown and Larry Duncan, VP, Administrator, Renown Children’s Hospital.

The Wilbur May Foundation recently announced a $5 million gift to Renown Health Foundation. This gift marks the first major donation to support the newly formed Renown Children’s Hospital Endowment Fund. 

Endowment funds are invested, and each year a portion of the fund’s income will be used as a steady stream of support for the Renown Children’s Hospital, while the rest of the return is re-invested to preserve and grow the original gift. As the only dedicated children’s hospital in northern Nevada, Renown Children’s Hospital treats nearly 50,000 of our youngest community members every year, with a focus on keeping quality healthcare close to home.

“Building a strong endowment is one of the most critical steps an organization, like Renown, can take to help see it through challenging times and periods of growth,” said Thomas Graf, MD, FAAFP, CEO of Renown. “An endowment is a permanent fund –— it is our key to continuously creating health. We will spend only the investment income we earn, this will allow us to have a dedicated stream of dollars to pay for the equipment and programs that we know our children need.”

In honor of the Wilbur May Foundation’s extraordinary donation, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), currently under major renovation, will be named the Wilbur D. May NICU and PICU. These two major ICU units are moving from the Sierra Tower to the Tahoe Tower at Renown Regional Medical Center, home of Renown Children’s Hospital.

“This endowment gives physicians and staff peace of mind knowing services and programs will continue to be readily available to families in our growing community,” said Kristina Deeter, MD, MBA, FAAP, Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Associate Physician-in-Chief, Renown Children's Hospital. “The generosity of the Wilbur May Foundation will impact care at Renown Children’s Hospital for generations.”

The late Wilbur D. May was a northern Nevada rancher, businessman, world traveler and philanthropist. He had a deep and longstanding concern for the welfare and education of children. The Wilbur May Foundation – comprised of family relatives, including his daughter, Dixie May – continues to enhance Wilbur’s vision. The foundation has made numerous gifts to Renown Children’s Hospital over the years, including supporting the current PICU and children’s kidney dialysis program, among others. 

“It’s an honor to work with community leaders and donors like Dixie May and the Wilbur May Foundation, and it’s our hope this announcement will inspire others in the community to Join the Good Fight and support children and families in our community,” said Renown Health Foundation’s Chief Development Officer, Greg Walaitis. 

To learn more about the Renown Children’s Hospital Endowment Fund, or to contribute, visit renown.org/give or call Renown Health Foundation at 775-982-5545.

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About Renown Health 

For more information, visit ®Renown Health is the region’s largest locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Clinical institutes include Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project.